Cambridge United have today signed Portsmouth midfielder James Dunne until the end of the current Sky Bet League Two season with a view to a permanent deal. 

The 26-year old is a combative central midfielder who will add bite to the core of the U’s midfield. 

Starting his career with Wimbledon, Dunne went on to progress through the academy ranks at Arsenal before joining then League One outfit Exeter City in 2009. He made over 120 appearances for Paul Tisdale’s side and remained in the third tier of English football when he switched to Stevenage in 2012.  

Since then Dunne has enjoyed a spell in the Scottish Premier League at St Johnstone before returning to the south coast in 2014 when making the move to Fatton Park and Portsmouth. 

Pleased to have joined the U’s, Dunne told Cambridge –United.co.uk: “I’m really glad to be joining Cambridge and helping them to push up the League.

“Having played over 200 games in League One and League Two combined, means that I can add experience to the team and I’ll be looking to help the club achieve what they want to achieve.

“I’m a player that likes to get up and down the pitch, enjoys a tackle and try to get the team playing when I’m on the ball.

“There’s a lot of competition in the group already and having played against Cambridge on Boxing Day for Dagenham, I’ve already had a good battle with Luke Berry, Ryan Ledson and Conor Newton.

“My aim first and foremost will be to cement a place in the team and then there are 60 points to play for during the rest of the season, so we’ll target as many as possible.”

Discussing the club’s new acquisition, Manager Shaun Derry said: “When we discovered James was available, he was a player we were extremely keen to get through the door.

“He will give us the competition from players in a tight knit group, as well as the aggression that we need. We ask for a certain amount of leadership from people around the football club and James brings that in his performances and his character. 

“Going forward we are a lot stronger now than what we entered the January transfer window.”

Meanwhile, the club have also secured a one month loan deal for central midfielder Keith Keane, who will now have the opportunity to improve his fitness levels following a lengthy spell out through injury.

The 29-year old, who joined the U's in the summer from Preston North End, will move to fellow Sky Bet League Two side Stevenage until 20th February as he looks to restore his match sharpness.